We are about to head into “crazy” aren’t we? November, December and January can wear us thin and rub us raw. Let’s get a “Peace Plan” in order before we start the road trip to Crazy Town. For today’s Book Club Time post, I want to share with you a life changing book–yes, life changing. Have you heard of the book Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart? In some circles it is simply referred to as “The Pink Book.”
There have been four books I consider life changing–life saving books. The Bible, The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life, Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart and Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. Today I want to share my notes and reflection from Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart.
Book Club Time: Searching for and Maintaining Peace
“Acquiring and maintaining interior peace, which is impossible without prayer, should consequently be considered a priority for everybody, above all for those who claim to want to do good for their neighbor. Otherwise, more often than not they would simply be communicating their own restlessness and distress.” If I am not at peace, the very first thing I need to check is my prayer life. Am I praying? How am I praying? When and where am I praying? Am I just repeating a bunch of words, or am I conversing with God…or at least making an effort to?
“…if the spiritual combat of a Christian is sometimes rough, it is by no means the hopeless struggle of somebody who battles in blindness and solitude, without any certitude as to the result of this confrontation. Rather, it is the combat of one who struggles with the absolute certitude that the victory is already won, because the Lord is resurrected.” Did you catch that? “The victory is already won.” We don’t have to wonder how things will turn out; we already now Who wins. Hold on!
Very frequently, spiritual combat consists precisely in this: defending one’s peace of heart against the enemy who attempts to steal it from us…The devil does his utmost to banish peace from one’s heart, because he knows that God abides in peace and it is in peace that He accomplishes great things. First, did you notice the use of words? The author uses the word “defended,” which means peace is already within us. We are not fighting for peace, we are fighting to keep peace. BIG difference. John 15–The Abide chapter–is a great chapter of the Bible to read when feeling tempted and battle weary. I sum it up this way in my own mind, “Abide in Christ and I will produce much fruit…not a little, but much.” I also try to remember, if I am being attacked, it means I must be something right. The devil has no need to waste his efforts on one he already has.
“…by the grace of God, we are always certain of victory.” I know it does not seem or feel like it in the heat of the moment. Trust me I know. But if we can keep one thought in the front of our mind during an intense struggle, “This battle has already been won!” That can and will give us the strength from moment to moment. And thinking it may not be enough; we may have to say it out loud, in our best “Battle Cry” voice no less!
The first goal of spiritual combat, that toward which our efforts must above all else be directed, is not to always obtain a victory (over our temptations, our weaknesses, etc.), rather it is to learn to maintain peace of heart under all circumstances, even in the case of defeat. It is only in this way that we can pursue the other goal, which is the elimination of our failures, our faults, our imperfections and sins. “…even in the case of defeat?” But we just read about the victory. Have you heard the saying “…lost the battle but won the war?” There are days I lose my temper, yell at my kids…and if that were the end of the story, that could be called a defeat. But I am a child of a Victorious King. So I make my apologies to my kids and my God. My rash emotions may have defeated me briefly, but I am a woman of intellect and will and the war has already been won…I just need to stop the hand to hand combat with the enemy and claim that victory.
This post is getting long, so I’m going to break it up into a couple more Book Club Time posts like I did with Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers Part one and Part two.
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